The Pixel 3 XL looks to be extremely durable, but the frosted glass scratches easily

By | 22nd October 2018

  • Google added a frosted/matte glass finish to the back of the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.
  • Whiling JerryRigEverything’s durability test, Zach Nelson found the phone to be relatively tough, but the glass was incredibly easy to damage.


Unlike with the last two Pixel generations, Google made the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL’s backsides out of glass. On top of being a material that works better with the internal radios, the material choice allowed Google to add wireless charging. But, of course, glass is easier to break if either handset gets dropped.

So, as usual, Zack Nelson from the JerryRigEverything YouTube channel put both of Google’s latest Pixel smartphones through a round of torture tests to see how well they might stand up to extensive abuse.

As you can see from the video, the Pixel 3 XL (and in extension the smaller Pixel 3) stands up to almost everything Nelson threw at it. As the handset’s screen and camera portion are made out of Gorilla Glas 5, it took a lot to leave permanent scratches. The aluminum edges are covered in a plastic-like coating and could be scraped away with some force.

Nelson’s most prominent finding, though, was how easy it was to leave permanent damage and markings on the frosted/matte glass portion of the Pixel 3. As he demonstrates, rubbing softer materials like coins on the back of the phone would leave marks that could be rubbed off, but keys and other semi-sharp objects easily left deep gouges in the glass that would remain there for the remainder of the handset’s life. 

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So, if you’re someone who likes to keep their devices looking as good as they did the day you took them out of the box, you’ll probably want to buy a case or a skin for your Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL.

What do you think about how easy it is to scratch the back of the Pixel 3? Should Google have just made the entire back of the phone out of the glossy glass? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!